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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I asked this question on another forum, thought I'd ask here also. I have a new H&R Buffalo Classic 45-70. I will be purchasing hard cast bullets very soon to load myself. I am not new to reloading, just new to hard cast bullets and new to the 45-70. I cannot afford to purchase different sizes right now and I do realize each gun is different and likes certain loads better than others, but......I slugged my barrel today and it measures right about .458. Some people on the other forum said I should use .459 for hard cast and .458 for jacketed, although they did say this before I slugged my barrel and were just assuming the factory bored my barrel correctly. Others on that forum stated I could use .458 hard cast no problem and that it would obturate if need be to something more. I am purchasing 250 405gr hard cast bullets at a very good price but they are available in either .458 or .459. Which size to buy is my dilema. Some folks have said I would probably do alright with either size. What do any of you think about this? I guess I'm pretty sure I could use either one OK, but I'd prefer to make an informed wise decision based on facts and experience if at all possible. Opinions are welcome also, but will be treated as such. Thank you, David.
 

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David,
The usual rule is .001" or .002" over slugged bore size for cast bullets. With that being said I would go with the .459" sized bullets for your application. That is the size I use in my Marlin 1895 in 45-70. Just my opinion as you asked for.:)
Cary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks cturpin for the reply, appreciate it. Do you know the actual bore of your barrel? It doesn't really matter because they work well for you, but I am curious. I believe you that .001 or .002" over slugged bore size is the usual rule of thumb but I have been noticing something......The greater majority of hard cast manufacturers have .458 NOT .459", why is that?
 

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Thanks cturpin for the reply, appreciate it. Do you know the actual bore of your barrel? It doesn't really matter because they work well for you, but I am curious. I believe you that .001 or .002" over slugged bore size is the usual rule of thumb but I have been noticing something......The greater majority of hard cast manufacturers have .458 NOT .459", why is that?
David,
When I slugged the barrel on my Marlin it came out right at .456". I was surprised at that dimension and so did it again with a different slug and came out the same at .456". There are a lot of different guns out there in 45-70 and perhaps the .458 is a good middle of the road size for the commercial casters. I do have a Lee .457" sizer die that I use on the bullets I use for my gun as at that size they shoot good for me. I also cast my own with the Lee 457-405-F mold. Before I purchased my mold I used the Oregon Trail 405 grain cast bullets and they are sized at .459 out of the box.
http://www.laser-cast.com/45Cal.html
I found that just a little to large so I ran them through the .457" Lee sizer for my gun. Getting good results from cast bullets can be a challenge at times depending on the gun, bullet, and powder. That adds to the fun.:)
Cary
 

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You may have to play around a bit. My .45-90 barrel slugged at a very smooth and consistent .4579 by a noted gunsmith, so I purchased a number of cast.459 bullets in different weights/manufacturers, but none of them grouped well enough to get excited over. Then I loaded up a batch of the new Hornady .458 325 gr. FTX (Leverevolution bullets), and suddenly the accuracy was phenomenal. A lot of other factors probably came into play as well, but I found it ironic that my BPCR rifle shoots a modern jacketed bullet with smokeless powder better than anything else... :)
 

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Since you mentioned the cost of bullets, you should try this guy.
http://bullshop.gunloads.com/

He has good bullets, good prices. You can get pretty much any style of bullet cast and sized the way you want them. When I got my trapdoor, I had pure lead, and aloy in three sizes done to see what would shoot well. I've got other 45-70's so I figured they would all find someplace to shoot.
The guy works cheap, he's a good guy and has good bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Red Pepper for the reply. Out of curiousity, is the rate of twist for your gun 1:20 or ? Also, thank you 45_ 70 Sharps for the heads-up on the bullet supllier, I appreciate it.
 
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